Donating Old Clothes to Charity

The textile industry still stands as one of the biggest in the entire world; after all, everyone needs clothes to wear for work, everyday life, and formal events, and a dazzling variety of clothes are produced, shipped, and bought around the world. The United States is a particularly voracious market for clothing, and today, Americans’ wardrobes are bigger than ever. The bad news is that often, these clothes go to waste, and are thrown away and sent to landfills or are shredded for industrial use instead of being sent to charities where military families, needy families, and others can make much better use of them. Helping families in need is a long-standing American tradition that is often done through well-established brand names in the charitable donations industry, but Americans, as a whole, could always donate more, and military families and the less-fortunate will always welcome additional donations any time of the year, and giving away to charity can have the added bonuses of reducing landfill clutter and streamlining people’s wardrobes. How often are clothes wasted, and what are the steps to reverse this trend and donate to military families and the needy? What steps can be taken?

Clothing and Waste

It is a simple, statistical truth that Americans often waste clothes and textiles every year, so people are encouraged to help reverse this trend and donate clothes whenever possible. What do the numbers show? The Council for Textile Recycling has shown that the United States will produce about 25 billion pounds of new clothes and textiles every single year, but about 85% of that will end up in landfills sooner or later rather than going to needy military families or others in need. In the year 2011, for example, the recovery rate for old clothes was around 15.3% percent, only a fraction of what is actually produced, and these clothes, if sent through the proper channels, could go to veteran charities and more. But data shows that around 12 million tons of clothes are simply discarded every year, headed for landfills. In other cases, these clothes are used for industrial rags or shredded to be used as furniture stuffing, rather than to charities and donation boxes. This amounts to about 82 pounds of textile trash per person, per year. If more donations are made, then landfills will be a little less cluttered, and many more needy families can get the donations that they always need.

Where Can I Donate Clothes?

The good news is that it is never too late to take part in reversing these trends of clothing waste, and choosing to help take part in charity drives for military families is easy and does not even cost anything aside from gas money driving to charity pickup sites. Asking oneself “how to donate to charity?” is the simple first step, and the rest that follows is a straightforward process that can do a lot of good for needy families. To begin, a person, or their entire household, can gather all clothing that is in the home and assemble it into one big pile, so that a comprehensive inventory can be taken. Shoes, gloves, hats, shirts, jeans, dresses, coats, and even scarves can all be gathered in this manner, and many people may be surprised by how much they have, and how much they don’t intended to keep, once they create this tangible inventory.

Now, a person, and anyone involved, can simply start picking through this huge inventory and carefully choose which clothes they need for their everyday lives and which clothes are desirable and in the best condition, and keep them. The rest of the older clothes, or the redundant or worn out ones, can all be gathered into boxes or bags and packed up for transportation. The kept clothes can be put back (this has the benefit of streamlining the household’s inventory) and the clothes to be donated are prepared to move out. The charitable person can then perform a simple Internet search for “charity pick ups near me” and find the address and directions to local pick-up sites for the needy and military families. Then, the charitable person can simply drive all their donations to the pick-up site and simply drop them off.

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